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A former Miss Congeniality in a Vancouver beauty pageant has entered a guilty plea for her role in the Stanley Cup riot.
They doth protest too much? Cops need to back off peaceful protests
By Ethan Baron, The Province June 28, 2012 6:10 PM
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Province columnist Ethan Baron.
Province columnist Ethan Baron.
Photograph by: Ginger Sedlarova , The Province
Violent confrontations between Vancouver police and protesters Friday and Wednesday have resulted in a dozen arrests. And a hero from the 2011 Stanley Cup riot says police slammed his face onto a concrete floor after he was arrested Friday.
The protesters, who banged pots and lids with spoons in solidarity with tuition-hike protesters in Quebec, were also expressing opposition to la belle province’s UN-condemned anti-protest laws.
“It’s really become about the right to protest and dissent, and the way that’s being denied, and the increase in violence that we’re facing, which I experienced firsthand last night,” says Vancouver teacher Sasha Wiley-Shaw, 29. Wiley-Shaw says she’s bruised and scraped after police piled on to arrest her Wednesday night.
On Friday, about 12 protesters had refused to stop marching on Burrard Street. Four masked “Black Bloc” anarchist-types were “the most disruptive and seemed bent on hijacking the protest,” police Const. Lindsey Houghton said.
However, video shows only two Black-Bloc protesters were there, holding banners and marching peacefully. The two were arrested, after rolling up their banners while standing on the sidewalk. Police had already collared two non-Black Bloc protesters who had split off from the protest stream.
Andrew Perry, featured last year in The Province for his courageous attempts to stop rioters from smashing and burning police cars during the Cup riot, had gone to the city lockup Friday night to see if two arrested protester friends were inside. Police lied, saying his friends weren’t there, he said. And when protesters arrived, they obeyed a police order to move onto the sidewalk. To show opposition to the alleged police lie and protesters’ obedience, Perry sat in the street, going limp when police arrested him and carried him into the jail. Once inside, officers flipped him over and slammed his face onto the concrete floor, said Perry, who has a forehead wound.
On Wednesday, about 10 protesters arrived at the Vancouver Art Gallery. As they sat talking, officers encircled them. Protesters approached police to ask for badge numbers, and a fracas ensued after police seized a woman they mistakenly believed to be violating a ban from the downtown core related to her arrest Friday. Video shows police and protesters shoving each other. Officers arrested two people.
Another melee erupted later outside the lockup. Houghton said a protester had banged on an SUV, and two had spit on vehicles. Video shows an irate motorist in an SUV backing up then taking a run at a protester, stopping just short of her.
“As officers moved in to prevent any further damage or escalation of violence, and arrest a protester, another protester allegedly physically jumped onto an officer, assaulting him, and injuring him,” Houghton said.
The woman menaced by the SUV driver says police shoved her to the ground, and a doctor at St. Paul’s told her she probably has a broken hand from the incident. Five protesters were arrested outside the lockup.
Here we have two peaceful protests, which turned violent when police tried to shut them down. The protesters have Charter-guaranteed rights to freedom of expression and assembly. In future, police need to back off and let them protest. Dissent, even if noisy and obnoxious, is not a crime.
The Reading the Riots research found that anger at the police was a major fuel for the London riots, with 86% of rioters citing policing as an important or very important factor in causing the disturbances.
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London Riots. (The BBC will never replay this. Send it out) (by mYcHeMiCaLrOmAnCeGaL)
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London riots: photographer speaks of mayhem after taking dramatic shot Amy Weston captured image of woman leaping from a burning building in Croydon used on five national front pages (via London riots: photographer speaks of mayhem after taking dramatic shot | Media | guardian.co.uk)